Comfort the Sorrowful

12. A Moment for Mercy - Comfort the Sorrowful

Sometimes we catch ourselves feeling overwhelmed by the sorrow and suffering around us: the sorrow of the people we  know, the sorrow we see etched in faces we see on our television screens, on top of our own sorrow. Somehow the very fact that someone is sad seems to draw us to try to comfort him or her. This can make us feel resentful, especially if it is part of our mission in life, as parents, as pastoral ministers or as professionals. Don't we have enough sorrow to deal with ourselves, without the added sorrow of the others? 

Yet, deep down we know that if we manage to forget ourselves and open our hearts to the sorrow of others we in turn will feel better, our own burden will feel lighter.  No one expects us to solve their problems or remove the source of their sorrow; reaching out in some form, through our presence and a listening heart will make a huge difference, and make the burden of sorrow more bearable.  Even if we aren't sure of the right words to say, the very fact of reaching out to the other person can make a big difference. We  know this because when our hearts were bursting with sorrow a simple phone call or a visit made a real difference to us.

Sorrow can make us feel crushed, quite incapable of dealing with everyday life, with a difficult relationship at home or at work; a word or gesture of support will enable us to rebuild our dignity, to trust more in ourselves and in our ability to deal with life. Sometimes the biggest ordeal is the sensation that no one cares about our sorrow; if nobody is willing to come near it, then it must be really terrible and insoluble.

Blessed are they who mourn, they shall be comforted!

By Paul Pace, SJ 

Prayer of St Faustina

O Most Holy Trinity! As many times as I breathe, as many times as my heart beats, as many times as my blood pulsates through my body, so many thousand times do I want to glorify your mercy.

I want to be completely transformed into your mercy and to be Your living reflection O Lord. May the greatest of all divine attributes, that of your unfathomable mercy pass through my heart and soul to my neighbor.

Help me O Lord that my eyes may be merciful, so that I may never suspect or judge from appearances, but look for what is beautiful in my neighbors souls and come to their rescue.

Help me O Lord that my ears may be merciful, so that I may give heed to my neighbors needs and not be indifferent to their pains and moanings.

Help me O Lord that my tongue may be merciful so that I should never speak negatively of my neighbor, but have a word of comfort and forgiveness for all.

Help me O Lord that my hands may be merciful and filled with good deeds, so that I may do only good to my neighbors and take upon my self the more difficult and toilsome tasks.

Help me O Lord that my feet may be merciful, so that I may hurry to assist my neighbor, overcoming my own fatigue and weariness. My true rest is in the service of my neighbor.

Help me O Lord that my heart may be merciful so that I myself may feel all the sufferings of my neighbor. I will refuse my heart to no one. I will be sincere even with those who will abuse my kindness. And I will lock myself up in the most merciful Heart of Jesus. I will bear my own suffering in silence. May your mercy O Lord rest upon me.

You yourself command me to exercise the three degrees of mercy:

The first: the act of mercy of whatever kind. 

The second: the word of mercy – if I cannot carry our a work of mercy, I will assist by my words. 
The third: prayer – if I cannot show mercy by deeds or words, I can always do so by prayer. My prayer reaches out even there where I cannot reach out physically. 

O my Jesus, transform me into yourself, for you can do all things.

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